The 2022 Arab Aviation Summit calls for industry collaboration to support the recovery of aviation and tourism
photo. press materials
The Ninth Arab Aviation Summit (AAS), the region’s aviation and tourism industry event at the Al Hamra International Exhibition and Conference Center in Ras Al Khaimah, has ended on an optimistic note, with major industry players expecting the region to recover quickly to its pre-pandemic glory.
Experts emphasized the need for closer cooperation and open dialogue between governments, offices and operators in order to revitalize the industry. They also highlighted the need for greater investment in technology to respond to changing passenger behavior. Discussions also focused on the importance of sustainability and the industry’s role in achieving zero carbon emissions. In addition, experts emphasized the role of tourism as a catalyst for economic development, recovery in the region after the pandemic and the need to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the development.
Under the slogan “Signposts to Renewal”, over 750 foreign and local industry experts and media representatives gathered to discuss a wide range of topics related to aviation and tourism during the two-day summit.
On the first day of AAS (February 28), industry workshops were held covering various topics related to regional and foreign practices in tourism, aviation, airports and other sectors.
On the second day of the summit (March 1), renowned industry leaders spoke during panel sessions to discuss the state of air transport and tourism in the Arab world and its impact on the global economy. They talked about how airlines are doing in the post-pandemic world, and shared new operating models and successes based on knowledge and experience.
Adel Al Ali, CEO of Air Arabia Group, commented on the changing consumer behavior, especially among the younger generation, which puts added value and competitive pricing over luxury, and stressed the importance of ensuring a seamless travel experience.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), discussed how relaunching the aviation sector is key to rebuilding tourism in the region and working together to build a stronger, more sustainable and resilient tourism economy for future generations.
Kamil Al-Awadhi, Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East, IATA said the region is very smart in its ability to adapt quickly. He added that he is looking positively at the aviation sector this year and hopes for a significant increase in demand in the next six months.
Samer Majali, CEO of Royal Jordanian Airlines, expressed cautious optimism for the airline industry with the reduction of entry restrictions around the world, but highlighted new regional and global conflict challenges in Eastern Europe.
Maen Razouqi, CEO of Kuwait Airways, highlighted the need to work together through joint ventures and industry partnerships to make the sector resilient and sustainable.
Mikail Hourari, president of Airbus Africa Middle East expects the Middle East to be one of the regions showing strong recovery. He stated that the future of aviation lies in sustainable development and that the industry has to deal with the negative perception of its carbon footprint.
Atanasios Titonis, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, said the pandemic has been very difficult for the aviation industry, but the sector is the best crisis manager and is well prepared for future crises.
Majid Khan, Vice President of Marketing. aviation development, Istanbul airport expects the sector to fully recover by the end of the year and said the Middle East is a strong market for the airport.
Muzzammil Ahussian, Executive Vice President, Marketing. Travel Seera Group believes in the region and insists that the data is positive, so it expects the indicators in 2022 to. will return to pre-pandemic levels and Saudi Arabia will be a destination for many tourists.
Omar Seraj Akbar, CEO of Zamzam.com commented that the pandemic has been a key player in changing the way people think about the way they book, with a significant shift towards online solutions, but there is still a need for passengers to book through travel agents .
The Arab Air Summit, backed by Arab governments and previously held in many Arab countries, was organized in 2022 in collaboration with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Promotion and Development Office (RAKTDA) and supported by global industry partners such as Airbus, CFM, Air Arabia , Alpha Aviation Academy and others. The summit will also be held in Ras Al Khaimah in 2023.